how to set up the pnematic system

hi we are team 3607 asnd we have no idea of how to set up the pnematic system can anyone help

Do you have any specific questions? You should start by reading Section 4 of the manual, 4.3.11 and the 2010 pneumatics manual located here;

If you still have questions, feel free to ask, theres a lot of knowledgeable people on here.

Anything specific you need help with? If you need anything, shoot me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

You will probably want to buy some push to connect fittings at some point, you can get the from McMaster-Carr ( They are brass fittings that allow you to connect the pneumatic tubing to things such as, the compressor, regulators, tanks, pistons, and all your other brass fittings etc. And don’t forget to use pipe thread tape on all your fittings, my team didn’t use it our rookie year and our entire system leaked.

Hope this helped.

We are also a rookie team using pnuematics. So with the fittings you recommend from McMaster, do you just stick the tubing into the end of the fitting? If the tubing is 0.25", what should the OD be on the threaded end assuming it is a male end?
Bill McKinney, Team 3711

The OD on the thread is determined by the port on the actuator that you choose. For example most of the free actuators Bimba offers (3/4"-2" bore) use 1/8 NPT fittings.

The standard pneumatic system contains two main parts, a high pressure side and low pressure side. The high pressure side of a pneumatic system contains:
-a compressor (you can do without it, but we’ll get to that later)
-automatic relief valve
-pressure switch
-pressure gauge
-vent valve
The compressor is what builds pressure in the system by forcing air into the accumulators (air storage tanks), without letting air escape. The automatic relief valve is used to automatically release pressure once it builds to a certain point (for FIRST competition it must be calibrated to 125psi, which can be done simply with a wrench). You must include a pressure switch to shut the compressor off once the pressure on the high pressure side of the pneumatic system reaches 120 psi. The pressure gauge is self explanitory and the vent valve is used to vent all pressure outside of the system. These are all connected to each other using brass fittings and in order to ensure a good seal, and prevent air leaks, you should wrap teflon tape around all of the threads. Start two threads down from the beginning of the threads and wrap twice around the bolt. Also make sure that you wrap counter clockwise (looking from the bolt head with the end facing away from you) this is so that when you tighten the bolt you tighten the teflon tape instead of unraveling it.

Next you need to step the pressure down from 120 psi to 60 psi (or lower) you do this with a regulator. When you connect the regulator that the high pressure side is connected to the port at the tail end of the arrow (you should see an engraved arrow on the bottom of the regulator). Connect the low pressure side to the port at the head of the arrow and the remaining port should be connected to a pressure gauge to denote the pressure on the low pressure side. To change the pressure of the regulator charge up the accumulators and then pull back the lock ring on the regulator and turn the dial until the pressure is where you want it.

From here you can start adding solenoids. Solenoids are the devices you use to actuate pistons, there are two types (used in FIRST). First is single acting solenoids which switch a cylinder between two positions depending on a low or high voltage signal. When you take away the signal they will switch back to one setting (these are usually the Festo valves provided by FIRST). Single acting solenoids are usually 4 ported one port is for pressure, one for exhaust, and the other ports are connected two either end of the cylinder, or rotary actuator. Double acting solenoids are pretty much the same except the lock into position once they are switched and they have 5 ports, an extra for another exhaust port (these are usually the SMC solenoids that FIRST provides).

That’s pretty much all I feel like typing now, but hey I was bored. I should have just told you to look at the pneumatics manuals, search “pneumatics” in the papers section of chiefdelphi media, and look up pneumatics in usfirst workshops section.

So go do that…now

We have a pneumatics page here:
Among the first couple of documents are some step-by-step procedures that might help.